Canon PowerShot S100 full review

Updating the S95, the S100 is described by Canon as a “serious compact” and comes in regulation black to prove it. Flat-fronted and pocket sized, with an unobtrusive pop-up flash, it boasts a roughened coating that recalls a DSLR and aids grip in lieu of a proper handgrip. Worth singling out are its brighter-than-average f/2 aperture lens – the smaller the number the more light let in, the more light the, theoretically, better the quality – and integral GPS. The S100 also features Canon’s Digic 5 processor for faster operational responses, with added benefit of up to 75 per cent better noise reduction.

The 12.1-megapixel stills resolution and 5x optical zoom may sound so-so, but, like the Sony, the Canon’s focal range starts at an ultra-wide 24mm for landscape shots and group portraits, going up to 120mm – the relative lack of zoom power at least affording a slim 26.7mm depth. As this is a pocket camera most likely used handheld, the lens is supported by no fewer than seven types of image stabilisation, for sharp results when zooming, tracking action, or snapping close-ups.

With a choice of standard JPEG or unprocessed Raw files sure to appeal to enthusiasts, the real USP here is the funky Control Ring that encircles the lens. A twist of this ring alters shutter speed, ISO light sensitivity and aperture for anyone preferring a more hands-on approach.

The alternative is a Smart Auto option that compares whatever’s in front of the lens with 32 presets and automatically selects the most appropriate – useful when you want to keep your eyes on the subject.

Canon’s latest premium compact with its funky Control Ring offers a high performance alternative to a Canon G12 or DSLR

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